Note: Impact Statements will be taking a break for the summer but will return in September!


Dulse & Rugosa is the epitome of a small business: Mom Claire and daughter Carly Weinberg harvest their botanical ingredients from their own island, Gotts Island, off the coast of Maine. A large number of their products incorporate seaweed for its healing and detoxifying properties on skin.

From there, they take their home-grown products out to markets up and down New England, usually manning the table themselves! From start to finish, it doesn't get any smaller or more natural or more local than that!

We've been around for 3 years! And we know exactly why – it's all because of you. Your support of our little independent venture is what keeps us going.

Every time you buy something from us, you make an impact. Every time you tell a friend about us, you make an impact. Every time you learn about our brands, you make an impact. Every time you think twice about the environmental or social aspects of shopping, you make an impact.

So thank you! A million times over. Every day of your support is another day our doors stay open. And that means the world to us! ❤️

That's Andy and his mom, the founders of Andy's Dandys dog treats in Vermont. As Andy was approaching adulthood, his mother Lucie worried how he would function as a special needs kid becoming a special needs adult. 

They found a solution, though: baking dog treats! Andy loved baking for his dog Rosie, and Lucie helped him found the company. Now, the two of them and their business partner Lesha work with other special needs teenagers to build their skills and readiness for the "real" world. Their focus is on that transition from high school into adult life that can be a difficult time for special needs people. 

We love this story, and every dog we've met so far has loved their treats!

This week, I'm not highlighting a product or brand but instead an issue: suicide prevention. The death of Kate Spade this week has brought this cause into the spotlight, and I want to take a moment to voice my support. 

Suicide prevention is a very personal topic for me. I have struggled my whole life with depression and suicidal thoughts. When we are in the grip of those thoughts, the desperation is so complete that ending one's life feels like the only way out of the pain.

Please consider donating to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. You can do so through our Facebook challenge, by making a purchase in the store through Sunday, June 10, or directly at their website.

Nellie Rose Davis has taught me to think "artists" when I think "West Virginia." Her whole life is deeply intertwined with the culture of West Virginia: she's a second-generation textile maker, and she lives and works where she grew up.

Nellie also participated in the Tamarack Foundation's Rural to Urban Markets program, and when she visited us few years ago, she told me about it. The program supports West Virginia artists and makers to get out to trade shows and wider markets. One of the best aspects of the program, though, is that it's multi-year and the "older" participants mentor the "younger" ones. So Nellie moved through the program, first learning and then mentoring.

That opportunity has led her to invest a good deal of energy into the West Virginia arts and culture community. And as you can see from her designs and photos of her — she has a good deal of energy! West Virginia couldn't ask for a better artist representative to the wider stage.

Jay didn't start out to change the world. But his love of metal and artistry has led him in that direction.

Based in Greensboro, NC, The Artist Jay's designs are produced entirely from recycled metals, mostly aluminum. This makes them very light to wear, despite the size of the pendants and earrings! Additionally, working with recycled materials obviously has a positive environmental impact. 

On top of the artistry and the responsible use of craft, though, Jay donates a portion of his sales to wonderful causes, including Victory Junction, a camp that helps kids with chronic illnesses attend summer camp at no cost. Keep it up, Jay!

Luke's Toy Factory is a small company based in Connecticut, run by a father-and-son team. I met them at the New England Made Show in March, where they were standing at their table in matching lab coats to explain their "factory" to attendees.

What makes their toys special is how kid-friendly they are: all the cabs and bins are interchangeable, and each piece separates easily from the chassis. Nothing to get into the right hole, nothing to line up properly, but easy to mix and match and roll around!

What makes their company special, though, is the material they use to make these eco-friendly trucks. It's a composite of recycled wood and plastic, and they told me that it's been used in Europe for many years. It's currently not recyclable in the United States, but they're actively working to change that, because it has been recyclable in Europe for years. 

So when you buy a Luke's truck, you can know that it's non-toxic, safe and easy for toddlers, fun AND that it's part of a greater movement to recycle more and more types of materials.

Blue Blood Black Sheep's Michael Gaines certainly has style and sass to spare. But his efforts to give back demonstrate that he has plenty of heart as well. Since fall 2017, he has partnered with the Dixon Kentucky Teen Challenge Women's Center to make his bracelets. The center is an addiction-recovery program, and the partnership not only gives the women skills and a sense of purpose in their work, but also funds to keep the shelter open.

The bracelet at left is one that Mike made to raise money for suicide prevention and awareness. The bracelet's message is the semicolon - the symbol of that cause and a reminder to keep going even when you feel like stopping. The bracelet is a little more expensive than other BBBS bracelets because a portion of the proceeds goes to support the national organization. 

And more generally, many of BBBS's bracelets offer hope, comfort and strength. The most popular bracelet we stocked from his line was "Fuck Cancer." It was sold out within a week of its debut, and we have more on order. I consider that bracelet, and Mike's overall spirit, a great reminder that irreverence can exist simultaneously alongside the sacred.  

We have worked with tonlé and Rachel Faller for almost three years now. As you may know, Rachel grew up in Burlington, MA, before founding her revolutionary fashion company in Cambodia. 

tonlé works with women at risk of being trafficked in the sex trade. They reuse every scrap of fabric in their factory to achieve a zero waste goal. They cross-train their employees, pay them fair wages, and have them work on garments collaboratively, all of which are remarkable in the fashion industry.

But their biggest impact has been local: I have learned so much about the fast fashion industry through Rachel and tonlé. My team has been educated through their efforts. And we have become only more passionate to spread the message about the fashion industry's destructive effects on people and the environment. We have tonlé to thank for our participation in Fashion Revolution for 3 years running!

Matr Boomie
Matr Boomie was founded by Manish Gupta, after he returned to India to get married. After living in the United States for almost 20 years, he had lost his connection to his native culture.

Now, Matr Boomie works with hundreds of artisans in India to put their traditional skills to use in making modern items. They seek to work particularly with women and minority groups in India, often in rural areas, because these groups are often still stigmatized as "untouchable" in Indian culture. The stigma results in those populations not being able to access resources and markets available to upper castes. 

Read Matr Boomie's own Impact Report and
UBB Clean Ups

United by Blue has been cleaning up trash since 2010. They are committed to removing one pound of trash from the world's oceans and waterways for every item they sell. To date, they've cleaned up over 1 million pounds of trash in 27 states!

In their own words: "We created this company because we wanted to make a bigger, more measurable impact on our oceans and encourage people to do the same. So we stopped simply writing checks and started organizing and hosting these cleanups. We wanted to do our part to clean the waterways ourselves." To that end, they've organized 210 cleanups in 8 years, and they make their clothing with that impact in mind. 

Duke Cannon is a man's man. Self-described, anyway. Duke Cannon is also a company that's deeply committed to active military and veterans.
Founded by two veterans, the company produces their soap in the same factory that supplied the U.S. military with soap through the Korean war. And the company gives back to a number of veterans' causes with every purchase.
Beneath the cheekiness, Duke Cannon is an exceptionally caring company, one that genuinely supports American values and American workers.
They recently started a "Good Folks Project" to recognize hard-working Americans. The first was Paul Cain, a farmer for the past 35 years. 
In other words, Duke Cannon will not only get you clean and smelling good, but you can feel good about where their money goes and where their values are. 

Jenny Lloyd's Soothey Designs is based in New Hampshire. No doubt you've seen aromatherapy pillows before, but Jenny's Sootheys stand out for their incorporation of weight and their range of scents, which goes beyond basic lavender.

Soothey is a labor of love for Jenny, whose nephew is autistic. As her nephew grew, Jenny saw how he benefited from weighted blankets and other sensory therapies. What started as a project to soothe her nephew is now her full-time business! Sensory research for autism spectrum disorders has led to the discovery that a number of conditions, including restless leg syndrome, insomnia and anxiety, can benefit from sensory therapies. That makes Soothey not just a local product but a pretty ground-breaking local product!

Your kids have probably begged for Crazy Aaron's putty at one time or another. But did you know how committed to the community they are?
Their putty recipe is non-toxic: that's a no-brainer for kids' products. Or so you'd hope. But they make all of their putties in the US, which can't be said of all kids' products. And it helps with quality control for sure!
Most impressive to me is that they work with 7 Philadelphia vocational centers to employ people with intellectual and physical disabilities. Crazy Aaron himself — yes, he really exists — says "as my business grew, so did my desire to give back to my community." These are good people!
Limited edition Spring putty available now, plus Illusions, Precious Gems & more!
Seedlings, a new line for us, packages their MA-made stationery in seed paper, embedded with 100% non-invasive wildflower seeds.
Their plantable seed paper is biodegradable and made with post-consumer materials (no trees harmed for this paper!) When the paper is planted in a pot of soil, the seeds grow and the paper composts away. All that is left behind is flowers.
Seedlings coasters and note pads are in-store NOW. Watch for 2019 calendars and planners this summer!